Storm compounds lives under tent

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Storm compounds lives under tent

May 23, 2015-

High winds and thundershowers on Saturday evening added to the hardships of people taking refuge in tents in open spaces after the April 25 earthquake displaced them.

Heavy storms accompanied by brief rainfall hit the Capital and the surrounding districts, killing at least one person and affecting thousands living in makeshift shelters.

Dust storms covered many places in the Capital starting at 5pm. Thousands living in open spaces in Kathmandu and its outskirts were affected by the sudden storm and rain. The wind blew away hundreds of tents and the brief downpours made the belongings wet.

“Scores of tent-houses were blown by the storm and the rainfall dampened our clothes. We have no blanket dry to use,” said Sita Manandhar, who has been staying under a tent in Basantapur area since the earthquake destroyed her house.

A sudden change in local weather conditions brought brief rains accompanied by winds of 78 km per hour speed in the Valley. The impact was felt for about 45 minutes before the gusts moved to eastern districts. Thunderclouds travelled from Dhading and are now moving towards the East, said Barun Poudel, a meteorologist at the Meteorological Forecasting Division (MFD).

Kumar Shahi of Dallu said many people reset their tents for shelter after the rain stopped. “The storm blew some 15 tent-houses here. Many people could not even keep their bed sheets dry. Everyone is now picking pieces as we have nowhere to go,” Shahi, who has been taking shelter at Ram Ghat, said over the phone.

The storm and rains also affected the people taking shelter in Tundikhel and other grounds in the Valley. “It affected children and the elderly. People are wearing wet clothes. It’s going to be a hard night for them,” said Saroj Bajracharya, from Tundikhel.

Police said at least one person was reported dead. According to Nepal Police spokesman DIG Kamal Singh Bom, the victim was identified as Laxmi Kumari Dahal, 32, who was riding pillion on the bike driven by her husband when a tree branch crushed her. “She died in Janamaitri Hospital during treatment. Her husband is reportedly fine,” said Bom.

A taxi was damaged in the Pashupatinath area but no injuries were reported. “Many people in Kathmandu and outside were affected after the storm damaged their makeshift shelters. But, we have not yet got reports from the outside of serious losses,” Bom told the Post.

Home Ministry spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said they had not received reports of any serious damage. According to the Met Office, rains were recorded in Taplejung, Pokhara, Okhaldhunga and Kathmandu.

Temperatures especially in Tarai have shot up significantly in the recent days. Kathmandu on Saturday recorded day temperature at 33 degrees Celsius, the highest so far this year.

Published: 24-05-2015 06:35

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